I went clamming yesterday, a dreary mid-April day, wearing shorts and sandals, while bundled up above the waist in multiple layers, anchored by an Irish sweater knit on the Aran Islands, made for weather like this.
I used a simple clam rake that has worked well for years, designed to scritch the bay's muck, allowing me to get enough clams to feed a few folks for a day or two.
A bit after I started, soon after the tide had turned, another clammer showed up in a full neoprene wetsuit, sporting a commercial bull rake.
"How many you'd get," amiably asked.
"Aren't you cold?"He looked at me askew, looked down at his full neoprene wetsuit, then looked back at me and unzipped the top. "Come to think of it, I'm a bit too warm."
"No--a bit warmer than February."
Now there have been days when I would have envied his fancy clamming clothes, but today was not one of them. My old wool sweater was made for days like this.
I wished him luck, put back the smallest and the largest clams I had back into the mud at the edge of the bay (a practice I started years ago--that way I know there will always be clams), and walked away.
|"i" in iPad does not stand for "infant."|
Image by Steve Paine via Flickr
Before I adopt any new technology (and clam rakes and neoprene both count), I want to know if adopting it will, in any way,
Not my efficiency.
Not my net worth.
Not my students' test scores.
Not my attractiveness.
Not my credit score.
Not anything beyond a very basic question first:
Will this tool improve joy?
The question is a difficult one for many of us, not so much because our limited imaginations do not foresee the consequences to both us and others down the line, though that is an issue--rather, too many of us no longer allow ourselves to live for joy.
Or even know what joy means anymore.
If you know what you want, you're a lot more likely to find it.